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Michael Bialas
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After spending more than 25 years in the newspaper business (most recently at the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News in Denver), Michael Bialas is currently taking an online approach to his work. A writer, editor, amateur photographer and former college football player, he primarily has covered sports throughout his career. Among the games he enjoys playing now, though, are reviewing and writing about music, movies, TV and other activities that sometimes don't require a ball.

Entries by Michael Bialas

Compassion Play: Lucinda Williams Is on the Double

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 2:51 PM

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the inspired daughter of a profound poet likes to write. Any time, anyplace. Words, thoughts, phrases will get scribbled down on notepads, Post-its or, if it's during a night out on the town, even cocktail napkins.

"We might be out at...

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Backstage Pass: With Lindi Ortega at AmericanaFest

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 4:27 PM

Onstage, this feisty cowpunk of Mexican-Irish descent talks tough, wears cowboys boots that match the color of her ruby-red lipstick (and her Gibson J-200) and prefers to sing Johnny Cash instead of Bob Dylan.

She honors her mixed heritage by partaking in "Guinness for dinner, tequila for dessert," and...

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Inside AmericanaFest: Allison Moorer and 5 First-Time Faves

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 4:28 PM

For a first-time attendee, AmericanaFest went by in a flash.

It's over? Already? There are so many more artists to see, music to experience, moments to remember, Nashville sights to check out.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Belle Meade Plantation, along with famous eateries like...

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Backstage at AmericanaFest: With Justin Wade Tam and Leslie Rodriguez of Humming House

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 5:15 PM

If you've ever wondered what goes on backstage with musicians before or after a show, this series of Q&As from showcases at AmericanaFest in Nashville this week will attempt to unlock that mystery.

First up is Humming House, a Nashville-based folk-rock-roots band fronted by Justin Wade Tam...

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Laura Cantrell Finds Her Way Back to Nashville, Naturally

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:25 PM

The way she waxes so poetically about her hometown, you'd never guess singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell left Nashville for good almost three decades ago.

"I'm sorry. I'm just prattling on," she quietly said over the phone earlier this month.

Her unnecessary apology came in the middle of a...

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Show and Tell It Like It Is: Elizabeth Cook Pulls Some Apron Strings in Nashville

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Elizabeth Cook's guilty pleasure is Nashville. Better make that Nashville, the setting for an outrageous TV show with fictional country-western singers, songwriters and Music Row executives who play each other just as much as the music that made them famous.

Maybe some truth lies inside that friction, though.

There's...

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Presenting Parker Millsap: A Smoky Okie With Americana Hustle

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 2:43 PM

Parker Millsap has plans. Lots of them. Presently, though, his biggest concern is trying to keep one of his mixed-breed dogs from having a family cat for a snack.

That's as complicated as it gets at the moment for a spry 21-year-old Oklahoman with a wealth of talent in...

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Digging Deep on Swimmin' Time, Shovels & Rope Kick Some Grass

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 2:09 PM

For a married couple of countrified rock 'n' rollers who stick to the bare essentials while taking turns banging the beaten drums and trading off other instruments onstage that look like hand-me-downs, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent don't need a lot to keep them happy. 

Blessed with a sense...

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Brandi Carlile and Co. Raise Hell, Hail Lyons' 'Triumphant' Return

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 2:50 PM

The three-day Rocky Mountain Folks Festival came to a close under the stars Sunday night in Lyons, Colorado, with a very politically incorrect Randy Newman somehow keeping the crowd on his side ... and on the edge of their seats.

So what if he mangled "Short People," adding...

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Why These Folks Festival Musicians Should Be Honorary Citizens of Planet Bluegrass

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Among all the accomplished roots artists performing at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival that begins today (Aug. 15), Dan Rodriguez of Elephant Revival might have the best reason for being there.

To provide some heavy lifting to a town that needs it, he has the qualifications and...

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Folks Festival Flight of Fancy: The Stray Birds Reach for the Sky

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 3:58 PM

It's not their first trip to Lyons, Colorado, but Oliver Craven, Maya de Vitry and Charles Muench are preparing a feel-good story for first-class delivery to the three-day Rocky Mountain Folks Festival this week.

While camping together during the three-day event in 2012, they were there, like other...

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In a Year of Healing, Antje Duvekot Has a Lyons Share of Songs to Sing

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 2:16 PM

If life begins at 40, Antje Duvekot already has experienced a false start. And that's just fine with her.

The Boston-based singer-songwriter, who is preparing to teach next week at the Song School in Lyons, Colorado, then perform at the Aug. 15-17 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, is...

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An Eye for an Iris: DeMent Delivers True Blue Storytelling

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 2:26 PM

When viral videos and social media darlings start to matter more than the written word, it's refreshing to see a storyteller like Iris DeMent follow a family tradition and let her straightforward songs do the talking. 

DeMent did just that on July 18 in a modest setting at

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Louise Goffin Welcomes a Few Village People to Her Magical Music Kingdom

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 1:39 PM

It's not often that a musician serenades an interviewer over the phone, but these were unusual circumstances.

Singer-songwriter (and now producer) Louise Goffin, about a week away from releasing Songs From the Mine, was at home in Los Angeles cheerily singing an 81-year-old classic that's nowhere to...

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By the Book in Telluride: Presenting 40 Years of Festivation

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 3:48 PM

The Telluride Bluegrass Festival this week is celebrating its 41st year of roots music in the picture-perfect setting among the San Juan Mountain peaks in southwest Colorado. It's a shame if you haven't experienced it at least once.

Steve Winwood, the-66-year-old Englishman with more than 50 years...

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Leonard Podolak and Jessee Havey Reunite to Rebuild a Duhks Dynasty

(6) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 3:52 PM

Jessee Havey remembers the day she took the Duhk call like it was ... well ... 2011.

Four years after leaving the Duhks, one of the Canadian neo-folk scene's most influential roots acts, the stunning songbird was sitting in the backseat of a taxicab heading toward her day job...

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Video Premiere and 20 Questions: Get Real Close to House of Hats

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 9:35 AM

Officially open for business, House of Hats is a worthwhile investment opportunity.

The folk-rock quartet based in Brighton, England, starts with brothers Alex and Rob Gigante, both of whom happen to have a thing for fashionable headwear (as any of their performance videos on YouTube will prove).

...
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Yvonne Strahovski Stays on Track to Live Another Daydream

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 3:15 AM

As habitual watchers of Chuck, Dexter and, most recently, 24: Live Another Day already know, Yvonne Strahovski has helped put the action back in high-concept TV attraction.

The Australian-born-and-raised actress of Polish emigrants brought bombshell beauty and brains (plucky CIA agent Sarah Walker) and more than serial killer...

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Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison Are Here to Say, 'This Will Be Our Year'

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 1:01 PM

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison are getting ready to take a break from each other.

Now don't get alarmed. It's not what you think. The tuneful toast of Texas twosomes who helped make Austin awesome aren't for a split second sailing into the sunset like Captain & Tennille....

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Good Grrrl: Alexis Krauss Plays Nice as Sleigh Bells Spring Into Action

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 1:22 PM

Alexis Krauss should be the pride and joy of anyone who missed the birth of the original riot grrrls and, feeling like a guilty parent, wants a second chance to see what their offspring sprung.

The former member of RubyBlue, an early 2000s quartet of teen pop queens, went...

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